The purpose of this research was to evaluate technology companies’ management of user-generated content, advertisements, and other third-party content to assess implications related to social capital.
Technology companies are grappling with how to moderate user-generated content, political ads and other third-party content hosted on their platforms. The related issues, including terrorist content, disinformation and hate speech, are not captured in SASB standards, despite being potentially large value drivers and of increasing investor interest.
Research Project Outcome
During this research project, SASB staff established an initial evidence-based view on whether and how content moderation issues have a financial impact on relevant companies. SASB staff conducted research and consultations between January and September 2020. The primary findings were included in the Content Moderation Taxonomy, which was published in November 2020.
In September 2020, the board approved a standard-setting project to determine if and how updates could improve the completeness of the Internet Media & Services Standard through incorporating themes related to content moderation.
In April 2022, staff wrote a memo to the Chair of the SASB Standards Board recommending that the research project be closed. This was based on staff’s determination that the primary objectives of the project had been met. In June 2022, the Chair of the Board closed the research project.
- Phase 1 - Completed
- Phase 2 - Completed
- Phase 3 - Completed
- Phase 4 - Completed
- Phase 5 - Completed
Published Documents & Supplemental Materials
Content Moderation on Internet Platforms Memo, June 2022, PDF
Content Moderation Taxonomy, November 2020, PDF
SASB to Research Content Moderation on Internet Platforms, December 2019, online blog
Building a Foundation to Explore Online Content Moderation, November 2020, online blog
Board Materials & Decisions
Board Meeting Outcomes
- The Board approved a standard-setting project, Content Governance in the Internet Media & Services Industry, based on research conducted as part of this research project. The research project will remain ongoing.
- The Board reviewed a draft of the Taxonomy document prepared by staff and discussed potential implications on standard-setting.
- The Board discussed a new research project on Content Moderation on Internet Platforms.
For a full list of past and upcoming Standards Board meetings, as well as associated materials, please visit our Board Meetings Calendar & Archive.
The staff has prepared this summary for informational purposes only. Any Standards Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of SASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.